Recap: Access in Neurology Webinar
Patient Access Collaborative members wrestle with access opportunities in all specialties, but Neurology has long been a particular challenge. We invited two members to present on their initiatives to improve access to neurological care through novel approaches. The University of Florida College of Medicine used existing faculty to form a new-patient access clinic, while Penn State deployed clinics that featured walk-in appointments followed by a more successful integrated care team approach.
Taking advantage of the complexity of the inpatient environment, the Department leadership at the University of Florida College of Medicine offered faculty the choice of working in a newly created outpatient clinic in exchange for hospital call. Physicians who opted in could fulfill their responsibilities via an access clinic week(s); residents were also staffed to the clinic. The clinic -- which shares space with the main existing outpatient clinic for the Department - operates five days per week, 10 hours per day. Forty new patients are scheduled per week; if patients require longitudinal care, they are subsequently scheduled for the subspecialty clinic. According to Vice Chair of Operations, Dr. Katharina Busl and Executive Director AJ Yarbrough, the access clinic has not only improved the lag time for new patients (142 days, on average, to 18 post-intervention), but also reduced ED readmissions. Relying on higher-value new patient visits, furthermore, the clinic is profitable. Read more about their work at Neurology Access Clinic: A Model to Improve Access to Neurologic Care in an Academic Medical Center - PubMed (nih.gov)
At Penn State University, a walk-in clinic for Neurology was formed more than a decade ago After several successful years, the Department leadership realized they needed to make a change when patients started queueing outside the clinic's doors at 2 a.m. in the snow anxious to be the first in line. The walk-in clinic, furthermore, hadn't made a dent on the Department's overall new patient appointment lag time. Dr. Steven Ross, Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, went back to the drawing board. The Neurology Access Clinic was formed to address the Department's access challenges; the clinic features three advanced practice providers and one board-certified Neurologist. (Residents and fellows also participate in the care delivery.). The new patient lag time dropped from 299 days to 10, accompanied by improved satisfaction scores from patients. Dr. Ross also led the initiative to replicate the care team model in the subspecialty of movement disorders. For both outpatient clinics, the patient is given the choice to schedule quickly into the physician/APP team - or wait for the traditional physician-only appointment.
Read more about Dr. Ross' work at Improving Access to Tertiary Movement Disorders Subspecialty Care | Neurology Clinical Practice and An option for improving access to outpatient general neurology | Neurology Clinical Practice.
For PAC members, go to Webinars (memberclicks.net) to listen to our panel of experts, who presented at the November 4, 2022 webinar titled: Access in Neurology.